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March 12, 2008


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Jeff Trexler

I'd tell you, but then I'd have to bill you.


And you would be worth every dime, Mr. Trexler.

JJ Commoner

Getting positively crowded in this "space" .. but maybe that's because there's only one show like The Wire, and umpteen dozen relaity shows, sports distractions and faux nes on television.

The article Tom forwarded to you uses the remarkable television show The Wire to set context for the management-by-continuous-"improvement" calcification and dilution of the organization, administration and delivery of education.

What did I mean by "crowded space" ? .. well, The Wire is extraordinary (I suppose because people recognize "the truth" when they see and hear close approximations ?).
So, here (link below) is a story in my local community newspaper today using The Wire for the oft-lamented, never-really-addressed and more or less intangible feeling that there is societal decay of some sort going on all over North America.

An excerpt from the story in my local rag:

The final season wobbled with its underwritten storyline about the death of American newspapers. But it hit home, powerfully so, with its season long theme of truth and deceit, and how while everyone who holds power knows the truth, deceit is often the more expedient route as large, self-serving insitutions rumble and jockey for position and grind up people between them. For many, lying is the enriching choice.

Few shows have dealt directly with the constant institutional lying that marks modern urban life, and perhaps make it possible.

This is at the least related to a culture increasingly defined by management by objectives, "doing more with less", continuous improvement, variable compensation, execs keeping $100+ million bonuses based on last year's exemplary performance just before all the structural rot in the sub-primes their work forces vended to the American Dreamsters, etc.

The Tapeworm Economy .. ?

Read all about it ... "The Wire revealed the true face of big city decay"


Thanks, JJ. Constant incremental improvement, until the whole thing collapses.

Brass Nuggets

clack clack


From "How the University Works":

...management, in the quality scheme, isn’t done for love. One can see why. Management in the quality scheme is done for hate–for hate of democracy, equality, and the public, in service of a totalitarian culture of subservience to “leadership.”

What he's suggesting brings it down to the level of you and your neighbor. All the schemes, programs, metrics, degrees, controls, quality standards, reviews, are merely the skywriting we look at while we are being devoured, or doing the devouring.

As BMO reminded us recently, corporations hate their customers.

The corporate aesthetic of the bland, the Important, the clean, sharp-edged, the suit, the shave -- whisper in your ear: "This is not a place where you can bring your mariachi band. Humor will be subjected to de-licing at all times. Leave your dog home. When we bought you, we buried your life - it's in the fine print." etc.


Now, we have double bottom line businesses. Perhaps the parts of us currently left out of the management process can be folded in? Those elements too can then be optimized as part of the overall brand promise and commitment to quality.


Waste, want not.

JJ Commoner

It's the lying and obfuscation that wastes me and makes me want not. It's endemic, so much so that it is seen as normal and accepted as part of the ride.


"What is truth said jesting Pilot, and would not stay for an answer." Prove to us what truth is! Then you can call us liars. We are myth makers, brand builders, trusted advisors, speech writers, public relations experts, think tank thinkers, punidits, politicos. Reality is a fiction. All is fiction in service to wealth and power. (Such seems to be the prevaling ethos.)It wears me out too, JJ. Yet how rude it is to question the prevailing wisdom of your time, when it pays so well, and those who have ridden high on it make such good customers, strategic allies, and partners. We by contrast have the Fellowship of the Dumpster, and the taste of our own rage to console one another. Better we get with the program while there is still time.

Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle

1 Election displaces War.
2 Economy displaces Election.
3 War displaces Economy?

Robert Allen Zimmerman, Newport, 1964

Sex displaces everything. Momentarily.


Thank you, Robert. Life lessons learned.

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